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First of all, is this role even desireable?

 

A scenario:

Ragnar and Erule went first down the thick of the forest, shadows all around them. Sparkles of slight light, eyes in the blackness. One of the beasts lunged forward, and as if appearing out of the very shades themselves appeared Orianna and pinned down the beast to the ground by its neck. She whispered some carefully laid words into the beasts ear and shortly thereafter it ran away back to the pack, now leaving each other respectfully and knowingly alone.

 

Later, accidentally falling into the beasts lair, the Wolves Den. At the heart of the pack. Though instead of lashing out and biting, they notice Orianna in the back, huffing and puffing. Sighing as if annoyed but respectfully abides to the "Truce". No words have been spoken, but simply put Orianna's knowledge of the wilds, human to beast, is what allows for such an interaction.

 

-----

 

What I am suggesting is that the tribe of wolves you slaughtered mindlessly on Playthrough 1 could actually be a sentient tribe of Wolves that you can interact with on Playthrough 2.

 

A Druid or Barbarian too, or a Scholar.

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No. Also wolves don't have "tribes," they're not sentient beings. You may as well propose that every single creature you encounter in P:E be sentient and taught English (or whatever language the game is translated into,) despite having no capacity to learn or speak it.

 

Barbarians? No. There is no "Scholar" class, either.

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No. Also wolves don't have "tribes," they're not sentient beings. You may as well propose that every single creature you encounter in P:E be sentient and taught English (or whatever language the game is translated into,) despite having no capacity to learn or speak it.

 

Barbarians? No. There is no "Scholar" class, either.

 

I'm quite happy for animal-communication, but it should definitly be within the scope of a particular animals comprehension. If you "talked" to the wolf and it told you concepts that a wolf would understands in possibly some empathic way thats fine. Any animal would be intelligent enough to communicate danger, friend, food etc, and something like a wolf could probably give you enough of an impression to know there were, say, snow trolls or a tribe of barbarians or something. They are also sophisticated enough to understand concepts like friend or foe etc.

 

But yes, I'm certainly against normal animals being able to "talk" to you in english, but having oppinions of you and communicating concepts is a different thing entirely.

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No. Also wolves don't have "tribes," they're not sentient beings. You may as well propose that every single creature you encounter in P:E be sentient and taught English (or whatever language the game is translated into,) despite having no capacity to learn or speak it.

 

Barbarians? No. There is no "Scholar" class, either.

 

Let me rephrase. Animals being intelligent beings that you can communicate with (not with words, but by presence and "wilderness lore" kind of) and not just some fodder beasts that you always slay. Does Boo ever speak?

 

When I say Scholar I imply a Wizard, or a Cipher. Or a learned Fighter etc. etc. Not an actual class. I threw Barbarian in there cus it just felt like it could make sense (Barbarian + Wilderness Lore).

 

Wolves hunt in packs, hence why I mentioned "tribe".

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No. Also wolves don't have "tribes," they're not sentient beings. You may as well propose that every single creature you encounter in P:E be sentient and taught English (or whatever language the game is translated into,) despite having no capacity to learn or speak it.

 

Barbarians? No. There is no "Scholar" class, either.

wolves are social animals that know their place in the pack, I would say that requires enough self-awareness that you can call them sentient.

I don't think you mean with sentience what is meant by sentience.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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No. Also wolves don't have "tribes," they're not sentient beings. You may as well propose that every single creature you encounter in P:E be sentient and taught English (or whatever language the game is translated into,) despite having no capacity to learn or speak it.

 

Barbarians? No. There is no "Scholar" class, either.

wolves are social animals that know their place in the pack, I would say that requires enough self-awareness that you can call them sentient.

I don't think you mean with sentience what is meant by sentience.

Aye, the belief that sentience is a human-only quality in the real world is a sadly common misconception.

 

To those unaware of it, many different species are demonstrably self aware and that quality is not what separates humans from other animals, it is sapience: the capability for judgement and abstract thought.

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This makes me wonder, should P:E's animals be sentient or non-sentient? That would make the Beastmaster Role way more interesting but I think I now understand why all monsters have been "riled up" somehow and it is a big thing in the world. Isn't in Baldur's Gate they say "The animals have gone all whack! And Bandits too!", or am I thinking about another game?

 

Regardless, developers making up lore to make the animals more mindless. It might speak for itself that making every animal sentient is probably a big workload.

Edited by Osvir

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Games like IWD2 and NWN1 did make use of the "Animal Empathy" skill, which allowed druids and rangers to charm/dominate certain creatures. Even Minsc in BG had a "Charm Animal" ability.

 

I have played characters using this skill before, and in most cases it was used to calm a hostile animal into a neutral state. But I don't think there was any XP reward for doing so. So if you're playing the game to max out your XP potential, you just end up killing the animals anyway. But if there was some incentive for a small XP reward each time you made a successful skill check, or at least in a scenario where you avert some kind of threat, then it could be useful to bring back Animal Empathy.

 

In BG/BG2 you gain XP for lockpicking (and possibly disarming traps, not sure), so if you're also able to "tame the wild beast" as it were, there should be a reward for that too. It's not like it will happen all the time.

 

And yes, communication between humans and animals is often very subtle, coming down to body language, posture, eye contact, and vocal sounds. So it's not an unfeasible idea.

Edited by TRX850

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Animal Empathy is limited and on duration as well as "In Area" limited, I'm speaking about a skill which lets you tame an animal and bring it with you as a minor companion character. Doesn't need narration at all but mechanically become "Mine!!". I throw pokeball... wait wait wrong game... I throw leash and get the animal. I wouldn't particularly be able to have 155 animals and collect em all like Pokemon but perhaps a total of 3 animals (if the skill is invested in) that you can do some minor upgrades with.

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Realistically, I kind of see 3 core applications for an animal empathy skill:

 

1) A turn animals power - like turn undead but for animals - I always found the animal empathy skill a bit clunky but if you did it like Turn Undead where the animals either leave or, at higher levels, join your cause it'd be a bit more practical.

 

2) Gaining a companion: I'd quite like this to be a focus of ranger and or druid, but I'd actually want them to remain relevant in combat throughout the game - in a lore context, I'd suggest that the soul mechanic of this would be that you share your soul with the animal and the animal with you in such a way as both of you become stronger from it. This then justifies a wolf being able to be relevant while fighting, say, a dragon, because it's not exactly a normal wolf anymore. I'd personally say that one animal should be the normal, and at most, a high level ability to gain a second - by forcing the player to pick one animal it makes it more of a "personal" character rather than a powergaming mechanic.

 

3) Limited communication (not conversation though) in some circumstances being able to see into an animals mind for their memories might enable some quests to be opened up or clues to be found that a normal person would just walk right by. Unless theres some very specific reason for it I wouldn't want actual talking, but if readign a birds thoughts allows you to know where the giant lair is or who murdered that priest in the woods it could be a fun little benefit.

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The role of the Beastmaster is to make bad 80's films.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Realistically, I kind of see 3 core applications for an animal empathy skill:

 

1) A turn animals power - like turn undead but for animals - I always found the animal empathy skill a bit clunky but if you did it like Turn Undead where the animals either leave or, at higher levels, join your cause it'd be a bit more practical.

 

2) Gaining a companion: I'd quite like this to be a focus of ranger and or druid, but I'd actually want them to remain relevant in combat throughout the game - in a lore context, I'd suggest that the soul mechanic of this would be that you share your soul with the animal and the animal with you in such a way as both of you become stronger from it. This then justifies a wolf being able to be relevant while fighting, say, a dragon, because it's not exactly a normal wolf anymore. I'd personally say that one animal should be the normal, and at most, a high level ability to gain a second - by forcing the player to pick one animal it makes it more of a "personal" character rather than a powergaming mechanic.

 

3) Limited communication (not conversation though) in some circumstances being able to see into an animals mind for their memories might enable some quests to be opened up or clues to be found that a normal person would just walk right by. Unless theres some very specific reason for it I wouldn't want actual talking, but if readign a birds thoughts allows you to know where the giant lair is or who murdered that priest in the woods it could be a fun little benefit.

 

Whether the Beast Master is something that becomes a druid/ranger class kit or prestige class, or just a play style you adhere to, I like the idea of a turn animals ability. From a design point of view, it could use the same process as turn undead.

  • As you traipse through the woods, you encounter a family of wild boars.
  • They become hostile, so you attempt to turn them.
  • Die rolls are made, and bonus points (if any) are added.
  • At lower levels, you either turn them or you don't.
  • If you succeed, they flee the area (plus XP reward). If you fail, they attack.
  • At mid level, maybe there's an intermediary condition where they become neutral (plus XP reward).
  • And at higher levels, you bond with the animal and claim yourself a companion.

The only thing that's bugging me now is how it would handle multiple animals during a single encounter. You might have to be very selective when using this power, or maybe if you had enough of a "mind link" with an animal, it could prompt a sort of "Would you care to join me?" dialogue option. Could get tricky if half a dozen snow leopards all want to join you at once.

 

And would it work in unison with a druid/ranger Animal Companion ability (if they implement one) if your character already had this? So you could have your main companion, plus a pack of secondary companions following closely behind?

 

Edit:

 

This could of course extend to barbarians too.

 

Edit:

 

When stating "mid level" and "high level", this should probably apply to skill level rather than class level.

Edited by TRX850
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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Spirit creatures like those seen in the anime film Princess Mononoke may fit nicely in this setting. I could see certain wild creatures bearing a spirit-like nature that allows them to take on an intelligent aspect and even cooperate with selected individuals such as San. Such spirit creatures would be more like companions than animals, and may possess a special link with the spirit world.

 

princess-mononoke-screen-290.jpg?w=670

 

BTW, if you've never seen Princess Mononoke... well, all I can say is that you need to watch it. :)


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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^ Aye. The possibility of some animals possessing souls is an interesting one (in the context of P:E's soul-heavy lore).

 

Also, the tainted Bore god in Princess Mononoke creeps me the hell out...

 

"WHAT'S IN THE BOHHHHHHXXXX...?!" 8)


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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